Submitted BY: Rev. Andy Anderson
…God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.
What attributes should a leader exemplify? Integrity, reliability, honesty, forthrightness are just a few of the terms to consider. Many of you have worn the mantle of leadership during your lives, just as I have. Thinking back to those times. Were you/me satisfied with the results? What could we have done to make the experiences more productive or relevant? What can or will we do in future leadership roles?
I have found that to be an effective leader is to lead by example. I would never ask anything of those I lead that I would not or could not undertake myself. Regularly on a Sunday, I preach loving my neighbor as myself. Yet, at times, I find it difficult to follow my admonition on the other six days.
Our nation is in the midst of a maelstrom politically and ethically. Called to be a leader carries great responsibilities. As clergy, I must speak out against social injustices or oppression of any kind. I must champion positivity, such as inclusiveness, forgiveness, and kindness. I once believed that my actions spoke louder than my words, but not anymore. Our social media platforms are rife with vengeful, hate-filled speech, and fingerpointing. In this tumultuous society, the language I use sets the tone for my leadership. I can think of no better way to model “Called to be…” leadership than the words of St. Teresa of Avila.
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth, but yours.”
— Teresa of Avila 1 Corinthians 12:26-28 Or spiritual persons. , New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.